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Speed Graphic Graflex 4X5 combat cameras


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I have been running ads in my local newspaper looking for militaria, today a guy who used to collect cameras called me, I bought this Graphic "45" camera from him. The camera came to Iceland with the US army in the war, he thought that the camera was from 1940. I havent found much info on these online but I read somewhere that early in the war they used cameras in a wooden box like this one. Any ideas of the maker year on this one and does anyone else have similar cameras in their collections? Any opinions and thougts on this on?

 

Best Regards Thorsteinn.

 

 

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I love the OD strap

 

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Looking for all militaria regarding to Iceland in WWII

 

 

ICELAND BASE COMMAND

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Can you post a closeup of what the lens says? You can often date them by the letters on the Kodak Ektar lens.

 

Never seen one like this.

 

The standard for that period was a military version of the Anniversary Speed Graphic (which was made from about 1940 to 1946). The lens may be one of the hard-coated versions, which they started putting into military use about 1942. Each of cameras were entirely american made and came in 4X5 format for military use, hence the "Graphic '45'" on the side. One of the best features was the relatively new supermatic shutter (around the lens you'll probably see those words).

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Admin thanks for the info the lens reads among some other things NO.2 Kodak Supermatic, I hope these two pictures of the lense are sufficent othervise please let me know, It also has a serial number on the wood inside the lense box that reads 2231.

 

Cherokee I am glad you like it.

 

Sgt Dorango, I hadn't thought about that!! I will have to check that out

 

Best Regards Thorsteinn.

 

 

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One with the flash on

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Looking for all militaria regarding to Iceland in WWII

 

 

ICELAND BASE COMMAND

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The "Graphic 45" was apparently a Speed Graphic model produced near the end of the war and not too many were actually used in combat. Prior to that the military had used a standard Speed Graphic (the workhorse camera of photojournalists for many, many years) that had a bellows. The Graphic 45 had no bellows and for military issue was labeled "Camera, Combat Graphic." After the war Graflex relabeled them as "Graphic 45" for sale to the civilian market (they were still olive drab or gray - the Navy used the gray version, the Marines the OD). I have read of this late-WWII model still being issued during the Vietnam War (one source says they were produced in 1944 and 1946).

 

There is a civilian version like yours for sale for $1000 at http://www.cameraquest.com/frames/4saleLF.htm -

 

The version most used (including for the famous Iwo Jima flag-raising photo) was pretty much and off-the-shelf Speed Graphic with bellows. They did get around to producing a version with no shiny chrome, but lots of combat photographers used the regular civilian version which looked much like this:

 

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Very cool camera thumbsup.gif I looked through pictures of WWII photographers with their cameras and saw nothing like it. This one is close.

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That's a model with bellows - they are not racked out very far in this image (no innuendo intended).


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There is a civilian version like yours for sale for $1000 at http://www.cameraquest.com/frames/4saleLF.htm -

 

A Thousand Dollars for one of these! I believe thats whats called wishful thinking. These are cool cameras, but I've seen them at cameras shows for quite a bit less. A couple of years ago, I bought a US Army OD Green WW2 Speed Graphic press camera in it's original carrying case with accessories out of an estate. I wanted to take pictures with it, but then found out what it would cost to have the film processed and printed. I finally sold the camera for about $300. after carrying it around a while. Excellent condition civilian models can usually be had for about $150. to $500.

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Thanks for all the info, I paid about $250 dollars for it. He also said he had another camera wich is smaller in a leather case that came with the army but that is probably a civilian model of some kind, he is going to call me when he finds it.

 

Best Regards Thorsteinn.

Looking for all militaria regarding to Iceland in WWII

 

 

ICELAND BASE COMMAND

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Thanks for all the info, I paid about $250 dollars for it. He also said he had another camera wich is smaller in a leather case that came with the army but that is probably a civilian model of some kind, he is going to call me when he finds it.

 

Best Regards Thorsteinn.

 

$250 is a good price. I found one completed auction in the UK where one sold for $600.


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Here's a picture of my 1944 Graflex Speed Graphic as used by the Signal Corps Photographers. Some Speed Graphics had the PH-47 Dataplate on top, but some were rushed from production into combat use, with only a SC orange inspection stamp which mine has on the back.

 

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These camera's were part of the Set PH-104, described here:

 

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/willysmb/PH-10...ture_104_FR.htm

 

Here's another picture showing the other standard SC Camera PH-324 (Kodak 35) next to the SG for size:

 

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And here's a wartime picture of a SG in use by the SC in Normandy:

 

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$250 is a good price. I found one completed auction in the UK where one sold for $600.

 

Yes thumbsup.gif this post made me happy

 

and Johan, that is a great camera you got there, I see it is a part of a display and a glimpse of another camera there could you post the whole display please I am curious.

 

Best Regards Thorsteinn.

Looking for all militaria regarding to Iceland in WWII

 

 

ICELAND BASE COMMAND

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I see it is a part of a display and a glimpse of another camera there could you post the whole display please I am curious.

 

The other camera's not military and not mine and I didn't take that picture. I do however have most of the set with the carrying case, tripod, etc...

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See on your lens it says EE1002. The EE is actually a letter coded date of your lens. E corresponds with the number "4" which means it was made in 1944.

 

As far as your style of camera, my guess is that the wood box was a modification for colder climates where actually bellows with the metal guides would not work and/or stand up to the elements. Something like this would therefore be seen only in places like Alaska, Iceland, or US bases in cold climates. I've looked and looked but I seem to recall a picture of one of these types of cameras in use by a navy photographer when they went to Antarctica.

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See on your lens it says EE1002. The EE is actually a letter coded date of your lens. E corresponds with the number "4" which means it was made in 1944.

 

As far as your style of camera, my guess is that the wood box was a modification for colder climates where actually bellows with the metal guides would not work and/or stand up to the elements. Something like this would therefore be seen only in places like Alaska, Iceland, or US bases in cold climates. I've looked and looked but I seem to recall a picture of one of these types of cameras in use by a navy photographer when they went to Antarctica.

 

The concern actually was that the leather on the Anniversary models rotted in the tropics - that and the fact that bellows are made of cloth and were susceptible to damage. From what I have read, this style of Graflex 4x5 was made under contract for the Marines and Navy.


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Again guys I really appreciate the info my hats off to all of you.

 

Best Regards from Iceland....Thorsteinn.

 

 

P.S. I found this picture online it is a part of a panel at the National World War Two Memorial, Washington, D.C.

 

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Looking for all militaria regarding to Iceland in WWII

 

 

ICELAND BASE COMMAND

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That other camera looks like the military model of the Kodak 35. If memory servers, Kodak made those formerly civilian cameras only for the Signal Corps for the duration.

 

 

The other camera's not military and not mine and I didn't take that picture. I do however have most of the set with the carrying case, tripod, etc...

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